Former L.A. Judge Pleads No Contest to Embezzlement; Stealing from Personal Injury Lawsuit Among Charges

April 6, 2005

A 68-year-old former attorney and Los Angeles Superior Court judge pleaded no contest this week to stealing from elderly clients including a woman on life support, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Edward Miller with the Justice System Integrity Division said Huey Percy Shepard will have to live the rest of his life in disgrace for his actions.

“I’m happy we passed the first step in seeking justice,” Miller said.

Shepard pleaded no contest to one count of theft from elder or dependent adult, one count of perjury, two counts of grand theft by embezzlement and one count of writing a bad check. Shepard also reportedly admitted the special allegations that the loss to victims exceeded $50,000 and admitted the aggravated white collar crime allegation.

Shepard, who served as a Superior Court Judge from 1975 to 1981, allegedly embezzled $99,000 from a 90-year-old woman on life support who was forced to sell her home to pay for medical care. Shepard was hired as an attorney to help the woman’s daughter with her mother’s conservatorship. Shepard bounced a $13,950 check to the Sunray East Convalescent Hospital and falsely claimed in court documents that he made nearly $10,000 in payments for the victim’s care which were actually made by the daughter.

In addition, Shepard allegedly embezzled more than $62,000 from a probate estate and embezzled more than $12,000 from a client’s settlement check in a personal injury lawsuit. The thefts occurred between December 1992 to April 2002. He has since resigned from the State Bar.

Judge Patricia Titus ordered Shepard to return to court May 6 to set a date for a restitution hearing. Miller said Shepard admits embezzling $186,000 from five victims, although prosecutors believe the actual amount was $226,043.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 26 in Division 34. He faces up to seven years, 4 months in state prison.

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